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The Pro Side: Race to be the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick heats up

By Scott Carroll
On February 25, 2014

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and the Houston Texans' No. 1 pick is a hot topic of debate with the results of the NFL Combine.

The two players that most assume have the best chance of being selected No. 1 overall in the draft are Jadaveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel.

An ex-Texas A&M student and a life-long Texan, Manziel would be a prime selection for the Texans. Houston never had a steady quarterback in the 2013-14 season with Matt Schaub falling from grace. The Texans went 2-14 in 2013-2014, opposed to a 12-4 record in the 2012-13 season.

Manziel will provide a modern quarterback for the Texans and introduce their offense into a style that allowed the 49ers and Seahawks to prosper in years past. Plus, publicity and jersey sales alone will allow an immediate return on Manziel as a superstar.

However, defense wins championships and Clowney is the type of athletic freak that only comes around once in a generation. Clowney ran an official 40 yard dash time of 4.53, .15 seconds faster than Manziel who is known for his mobile presence.

While the Texans had their share of offensive woes, Houston had its fair share of defensive struggles as well. They ranked No. 23 in opposing rushing yards per game, allowing 122.4 yards per game.

The very idea of having J.J. Watt on the same defensive line as Jadaveon Clowney has to be keeping offensive coordinators up at night. Each are athletic freaks with uncanny abilities to bring down the quarterback as well as make highlight reel plays.

Whether the Texans pick Manziel or Clowney, they will end up with a once-in-a-lifetime player. This is almost a duplicate scenario of the last time the Texans had the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. The Texans had to choose between North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams and USC running back Reggie Bush. The Texans passed on the college superstar, Bush, in favor of Williams. It will be interesting to see if Houston chooses to go with a defensive player again.

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